We have an in/out board hanging on the wall at my day job. It is used (obviously) to indicate who is in the office and who is not at any given time and each day when I arrive it is my job to change the status next to my name from “out” to “in.” Then, when I leave the office, I must change the status back to “out.” No big deal right?
However, the most troubling part of this whole exercise to me is the fact that every day I must deal with the fact that my name remains at the bottom of the list. In the beginning I accepted the fact that I was the new guy and there was a certain symbolism in placing my name at the bottom of the list — I was the “low man on the totem pole,” so to speak.
As time has progressed, however, my name remains at the bottom of the list. There is a struggle within my being about this fact and I believe it represents a bigger problem – my daily struggle between the flesh and the Spirit.
The Apostle Paul put it like this:
So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. — Romans 7:14-25 (NLT)
You see, my flesh wants my name to be at the top of the board, to represent my “status” and my “talent.” In my flesh, I want the world to recognize me.
But my spirit is different. It is humble. It is content. It is satisfied in the work, power, and strength of the Lord. My spirit does not care that my name is at the bottom of the list and is perfectly comfortable to leave it there, knowing that the work is more important than the recognition.
And so, as another day dawns, my daily struggle begins once again.
What is your daily struggle? And, what steps do you take to resolve the conflict?